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Full text of "My Country And My People"

THE    ART    OF    LIVING                  3]

cluster together I spread them out; where the arrangement
too diffuse I tighten it a bit; where it is difficult to walk upon
I level it; and where it is level I introduce a little unevenness.
It is like a good doctor curing a patient, using both nourishing
and excitative medicines, or like a good general in the field,
using both normal and surprise tactics. Again it is like a
master painter at his work, not allowing a single dead stroke,
or like a great writer writing essays, not permitting a single
unharmonious sentence. „ . .

Harmony, irregularity, surprise, concealment and suggestion
—these are some of the principles of Chinese garden-planting,
as they are of other forms of Chinese art.

III. EATING AND DRINKING

The question has often been asked as to what we eat. The
answer is that we eat all the edible things on this earth. We
eat crabs by preference, and often eat barks by necessity,
Economic necessity is the mother of our inventions in food. We
are too over-populated and famine is too common for us not to
eat everything we can lay our hands on. And it stands to
reason that in this positively exhaustive experiment on edibles,
we should have stumbled upon important discoveries, as most
scientific or medical discoveries have been stumbled upon. For
one thing, we have discovered the magic tonic and building
qualities of ginseng, for which I am willing to give personal
testimony as to its being the most enduring and most energy-
giving tonic known to mankind, distinguished by the slowness
and gentleness of its action. But apart from such accidental
discoveries of medical or culinary importance, we are
undoubtedly the only truly omnivorous animals on earth, and
so long as our teeth last, we should continue to occupy that
position. Some day a dentist will yet discover that we have the
best teeth as a nation. Gifted with these teeth and driven by
famine, there is no reason why we should not at some particular
time of our national life suddenly discover that roasted beetles
a&d fiied bees' chrysalis are great delicacies. The only thing